Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Jew It Yourself DDOS-s itself

If you haven't been living in a cave for the past few days, you've probably encountered either a blog, a LiveJournal community, a mailing list, or a mainstream press article that referred to ShulShopper, a new website that launched whose goal is for congregations and independent minyanim of all (or no) denominations to self-list based on style and affiliation. Users can then search the site based on location and certain aspects of the minyanim that they're looking, and be matched to those that suit their preferences.

The basic idea is very good. It's still in public beta, so there are a number of kinks to be worked out in the backend and the interface, both of which are to be expected.

One of those kinks is the probably unexpected business of the site. The server is constantly choking under its load, and HTTP error 503 (service unavailable) is not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, it's been so busy in the first two days since its launch and has received so many links from so many sources that they've been affected by the blogosphere equivalent of the Slashdot effect. That is, an unintentional distributed denial of service attack caused by too many people trying to access the same site at the same time.

The moral: too much publicity can be a bad thing. I would expect that the DDOS will settle over the next few days as the site loses its brand-newness and becomes just another niche Internet service — or obtains more bandwidth. That, and, the blogosphere's attention span only goes so far (it's no more than 5 days).

UPDATE: What was it I said a week ago? Incidentally, the site is no longer DDOS-ed to the point of being nearly unusable, supporting my point about the blogosphere's attention span.

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